Beambox Interactive Playground

An interactive installation bringing the worlds of science and digital art together to celebrate light.      

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We are preparing a really fun day for our last day at the Aotea Square. Stay tuned! #BeamboxNZ

Did you know?

Microwave can penetrate clouds, smoke and light rain.

Bring the Beamboxes to Your City

Beambox can come to your event.

The Project

The Department of Physics at the University of Auckland, Auckland Live and Auckland University of Technology’s Colab, started a new partnership in 2014 recognising the lack of engagement, particularly amongst young people, in many areas of physics. While physics plays a fundamental role in our everyday lives, the theory is complex and can seem impenetrable to those outside of the field.

Since March 2015, a team of mentors and students from each institution have been working together to address this statement by pooling resources to create a learning experience that is both accessible and informative. Beambox is the result of this unique collaboration and aims to spark people’s interest in the science of the physical world by encouraging collective play. The focus of the project this year is “Light Science and its Applications” in response to the UN-proclaimed International Year of Light in 2015.

Beambox is at the heart of Auckland City, at Aotea Square, as we believe in the power of public places to stimulate creativity, ideas and exchange. The installation will be available to tour from February 2015.

The Team

The Partners

Auckland Live_logo_horz_blk

Auckland Live is a key cultivator of culture in Auckland. As the home of live entertainment for Auckland, we represent and celebrate the coming together of different people, culture and emotions. Our interactive art programme Digital Art Live, co-developed with Colab at AUT, encourages interactivity, collaboration and experimentation with artists and audiences. Beambox is part of this programme and is an exciting new journey to bring the worlds of science and art together in a public space.

AUT-logo-block          Colab_Logo_Blk

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is New Zealand’s second largest and fastest-growing university, offering a comprehensive range of degrees and research that reflect and inform our changing world.

Colab is the collaboratory at AUT. Our aim is to encourage researchers, students and the wider community to imagine, construct, and navigate rapidly changing social, economic, and technological environments. We are a diverse community of creative people, working together in an environment from which new ideas emerge on a daily basis.


Founded in 1883, the University of Auckland is New Zealand’s largest university with over 40,000 students, nearly 10,000 of whom graduate annually. Teaching and research is conducted over eight faculties and two large-scale research institutes. In addition the University is host or co-host to four national Centres of Research Excellence. Our students enjoy a great social life with clubs and associations for most interests, as well as sport, music, cafes – and a vibrant city right at their doorstep.

The Sponsors


The Unlocking Curious Minds contestable fund (UCM) aims to enhance, or broaden, the connection and engagement of “harder to reach” New Zealanders, in particular young people (ages 18 years and younger), with science and technology. It is designed to support new, innovative science and technology-based projects that excite and engage young people from a variety of backgrounds. The UCM is currently being implemented as a pilot by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. The UCM is an initiative under the Government’s national strategic plan for science in society, A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri I Te Mahara.


The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.


Steel & Tube’s uncompromising commitment to quality, integrity and reliability has earned it an enviable reputation as New Zealand’s leading provider of steel solutions. Proudly supporting local businesses for over 60 years, we are New Zealand owned and among the New Zealand Stock Exchange’s top 50 companies. Our national network of branches and distribution centres provide specialist knowledge and solutions to service all sectors of the economy, across infrastructure, commercial and residential construction, engineering, energy, manufacturing, and the rural sector- whatever your project, we have the steel solution to meet your needs.


The Dodd-Walls Centre is a Centre of Research Excellence based upon photonics, from the most fundamental to the applied. It has existed as a collaborative centre between the Universities of Otago and Auckland since 2006, and was recently awarded major funding as a centre from the New Zealand government. It is named after two of New Zealand’s pioneering researchers in quantum physics, Professors Jack Dodd and Dan Walls. The Dodd-Walls Centre’s aim is to generate fundamental knowledge about how the physical universe is composed and behaves and to undertake cutting-edge research with the potential to underpin advanced technological development.


HERA is the Research Association for the New Zealand metals engineering industry. Established in 1979 under the Heavy Engineering Research Levy Act as a member-based, not-for-profit Research Association, HERA today serves 600-plus industry members as their leading resource support centre. Through its specialist staff it provides a combination of research, training, advisory, industry development and promotional services, making it the national centre for metals-based product design, manufacturing technology, inspection and quality assurance. HERA is an accredited training provider under NZQA and the International Institute of Welding (IIW) guidelines. HERA  incorporates activities by its divisions, such as the heavy engineering Industry Development Division, Structural Systems Division, New Zealand Welding Centre, HERA Certification Ltd, and the Information Centre.


Resene has all the quality paints, colours, wallpapers, curtains, decorating accessories and professional advice you need to get a superb finish on your decorating projects inside or out.   Choose from thousands of colours or let Resene create a custom colour match for you.  Once you’ve chosen your favourite, get it tinted into the extensive range of Resene Environmental Choice approved low VOC paints.  Proudly NZ owned and made, Resene loves supporting creative and colourful ideas and events and is delighted to be part of the Beambox project.